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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: General Malaise

“The White House wants to appoint a high-powered czar to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with authority to issue directions to the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies, but it has had trouble finding anyone able and willing to take the job, according to people close to the situation.
At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have declined to be considered for the position, the sources said, underscoring the administration's difficulty in enlisting its top recruits to join the team after five years of warfare that have taxed the United States and its military.”
-Washington Post, April 11, 2007

“Wow! Four-star generals are refusing to take responsibility for Iraq and Afghanistan? Why would anyone turn down a chance to run two wonderful places like that?”

“The Bush administration is split over the idea of a surge in troops to Iraq, with White House officials aggressively promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intense debate.”
-Washington Post, December 19, 2006

“Oh yeah.. I forgot, he stopped listening to the military a while ago...”

“We're making progress on all fronts. But as to how many troops we have there will depend upon the generals and their commanders saying, this is what we need to do the job, Mr. President, and that's the way it's going to be so long as I'm standing here as the Commander-in-Chief, which is two-and-a-half more years.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, May 25, 2006

“All three generals who declined the job have been to varying degrees administration insiders. Keane, a former Army vice chief of staff, was one of the primary proponents of sending more troops to Iraq and presented Bush with his plan for a major force increase during an Oval Office meeting in December. The president adopted the concept in January, although he did not dispatch as many troops as Keane proposed.”
-Washington Post, April 11, 2007

“…up to, and including, the very people he is asking to take over the job, and while he is really good at responsibility when things are going well…”

"History has called America and our allies to action, and it is both our responsibility and our privilege to fight freedom’s fight.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Jan. 29, 2002

“…he isn’t as good when things start going bad…”

“There's only one person who hugs the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids upon the death of their loved one. Others hug, but having committed the troops, I've got an additional responsibility to hug and that's me and I know what it's like.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2002

“…and when things go bad someone will have to be blamed…”

“Obviously, we have a verdict from the jury in the Scooter Libby trial. Let me start off by saying that the President was informed by -- he was in the Oval Office. He saw the verdict read on television. Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and Counselor Dan Bartlett were with him.
He said that he respected the jury's verdict, that he was saddened for Scooter Libby and his family, and that the White House direction from here on out -- and I know that there's going to be a lot of disappointment with this, but there is an ongoing criminal proceeding.”
-White House Press Briefing with Dana Perino, February 6, 2007

“…so I can’t imagine why retired generals wouldn’t be willing to step up to the job.”

“Bush administration officials have claimed that they were unaware of problems with veterans' care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center until a flurry of media reports earlier this year brought the hospital's shortcomings to their attention. But Salon has obtained written proof -- a report prepared for a Department of Veterans Affairs task force -- that officials should have been aware of the situation as long ago as August 2004. President Bush, meanwhile, having promised to improve care at the hospital, has just announce plans to nominate the co-chair of that task force to run all of the VA's health services.
Two years and a half years after the task force's report, officials expressed surprise when the Washington Post reported on some of those bureaucratic failures in February. In a visit to Walter Reed March 30, President Bush blamed the problems at the hospital on ‘bureaucratic and administrative failures’ and told patients that their transition from the embrace of one government agency to another would, at last, become seamless. ‘We want to make sure,’ Bush told patients there, ‘that any transfer from the Defense Department to the Veterans Affairs Department is smooth, and that there's not bureaucratic delay or obstacles in the way of making sure that we can report to our fellow citizens that people are getting the best possible health care.’

‘The system failed you,’ Bush told the patients and staff, ‘and it failed our troops. And we're going to fix it. We're not going to be satisfied until everybody gets the kind of care that their folks and families expect.’"
-Salon, April 11, 2007

“It’s like they don’t trust what the Fearless Leader and His loyal Administration are doing.”

"’The very fundamental issue is, they don't know where the hell they're going,’ said retired Marine Gen. John J. ‘Jack’ Sheehan, a former top NATO commander who was among those rejecting the job. Sheehan said he believes that Vice President Cheney and his hawkish allies remain more powerful within the administration than pragmatists looking for a way out of Iraq. ‘So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks,'’ he said.”
-Washington Post, April 11, 2007


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